tv [untitled] June 15, 2010 9:30pm-10:00pm EDT
arizona's immigration law, not having read it, admitting that to john mccain. and michael pose for the taking arizona's immigration law to the chinese. apparently we're a sinful nation because we believe in the rule of law. and john morton, the secretary who is head of ice, immigration and custom enforcement, who remarked when he wasn't committed by -- to handlinggall the people who might be picked up by arizona's officers. this points something that's really hard for government teachers to get this message down to their students. we have student whors juniors and seniors in high school, and you're teaching them government, they may be younner than that, but let's say juniors and seniors in high sschool they might read the paper and watch the news, the teacher will say, we have a
separation of powerss we have the legislative, the executive and the judicial branches of government. these are three separate powers. some teachers will teach they're separate but equal, thaa's another hour to talk about it. i don't believe they're equal, but they are separate. to argue that they're separate and having students watch the news and hear that the president doesn't want to enforce immigration law because he doesn't agree with it that he wants to hold law enforcement hostage until the american people accept his form of amnesty, a president doesn't get that kind of discretion. the president's job is to enforce the law. the attorney general's law is -- job is to enforce the law. john morton's job as heaa of i.c.e. is to enforce the law and secretary of homeland security janet napolitano's job is to enforce the law. because you disagree with the law means nothing.
you enforce that law. you're a law enforcer. that's how our constitution is set up. that's the power invested in them. if our founding fathers had wanted them to be legislator, they woull have written it into the constitution. if the people in this country wanted them to be legislators, i can tell you what they would have done. they would have amended the constitution and handed the power to change federal law over to john morton, janet napolitano, or maybe the president of the united states. that's not who we are, that's not the way it is. . we must dwevend the rule of law. if -- we must defend the raleigh of law. if we are going to allow it to come from the american people. and from the president of the united states who taught constitutional law at the
stellar university of chicago school of law to think that that's the case, that he doesn't understand any better and thinks he can get awwy with it, no, we can read our history and our constitution and we have access, coupled with the people wwo have enough self-confidence to be in a full threated way to defend our freedom. that's who wer mr. speaker. that's who we must remain. that's the character that we must maintain and we cannot allow ourselves to be diminished to define ourselves within this government that don't understand our values as a nation or our constttution. mr. speaker, your timing is
great. i couldn't have picked a better moment to yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from iowa seek recognition. mr. king: i move the house do now adjourn. ism the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those >> the house took up two bills. more were expected on those bills tomorrow. also of bill honoring their role of fathers and our society. more live coverage tomorrow on c-span. >> they continued to press the industry to get access to news applies to the world. that is drilling wwlls to 10
kilometers in the deepwater of the gulf of mexico, ontinuing to explore under the guise in the arctic. >> tony hayward before the gulf oil spill. thursday he will testify on capitol hill. see what other industry officials have said about this bill with more than 100 hearings all archived at our video library. it is washington your way. region for the fourth time of april's this week. president obama address the bp oil spill from the oval office. he meets with officials tomorrow. >> good evening. as we speak, our nation faces a multitude of challenges. at home, our top priority is to recover and rebuild from a recession that has touched the lives of nearly every american. abroad, our brave men and women in uniform are taking the fight
to al qaeda wherever it exists. and tonight i have returned from a trip to the gulf coast to speak with you about the battle we are waging against an oil spill that is assaulting our shores and our citizens.+ on april 20, an explosion ripped through bp's deepwater horizon drilling rig about 40 miles off the coast of louisiana. eleven workers lost their lives. seventeen others were injured. and soon, nearly a mile beneath the surface of the ocean, will begin spewing into the water. because there has never been a leak of this size at this depth, stopping it has tested the limits of human technology. that is why just after the rig sank, i assembled a team of our nation's best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge -- a ttam led by dr. steven chu, a nobel prize- winning physicist and our natioo secretary of energy.
scientists at our national labs and experts from academia and other oil companies have also prrvided ideas in and buys. as a result of these efforts, we have directed bp to mobilize additional equipment and technology. in the coming days and weeks, these efforts should capture up to 90% of the oil leaking out of the well. this is until the company finishes drilling a relief well later in thh summer that is expected to stop the leak. already this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster america has ever faced. and on like the earrhquake or hurricane, is not a single event -- and unlike an earthquake or hurricane, it is not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. the millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the gulf of mexico are more like an epidemic. but mecca -- but make no mistake -- we will fight this spill with everything we have got for as long as it takes.
we will make bp pay for the damage their company has caused. and we will do whatever is necessary to halt the gulf coast and its people recover from this tragedy. tonight i would like to lay out for you what our battle plan is going forward -- what we are doing to clean up the oil, what we are doing to help our neighbors in the gulf, and what we are doing to make sure that a catastrophe like this never happens again. first, the cleanup. from the very beginning of this crisis, the federal government has been in charge of the largest environmental cleanup effort in our nation's history, an effort led by admiral thad allen, who has had almost 40 years of experience esponding to disasters. we now have nearly 30,000 persoonel who are working across four states to contain and clean up the world. thousands of ships and other vessels are responding in the gulf. and i have authorized the deployment of over 17,000
national guard members along the coast. they are ready to help stop the oil from coming ashore, clean beaches, train response workers, or even help with processing claims. and i urge the governors in the affected states to activate these troops as soon as possible. because of our efforts, millions of gallons of oil have already been removed from the water throogh burning, skimming, and other collection methods. the over 5.5 million feet of boom have been laid across the water to block and absorb the approaching oil. we approved the construction of new barrier islands in louisiana to try and stop the oil before it reaches the shore, and we're working with alabama, mississippi, and florida to implement creative approaches to their unique coastlines. as the cleanup continues, we will offer whatever additional resources and assistance our coastal states may need. a mobilization of this speed and magnitude will never be perfect.
i saw and hhard evidence of that during this trip. so if something s not working, we want to hear about it. if there are problems in the operation, we will fix them. but we have to recognize that despite our best efforts, oil is already caused damage to our coastline and its wildlife. and sadly, no matter how effective our response is, there will be no more -- there will be more oil and more damage before this siege is done. -pthat is why the second thing e are focused on is the recovery and restoration of the gulf coast. you know, for generations, men and women who call this region home have made their living from the water. that living is now in jeopardy. i have talked to shrimpers and fishermen who do not know how they are going to support their families this year. i of seen empty docks and restaurants with fewer customers, even in areas where beaches are not yet affected. i have talked to owners of shops and hotels who wonder when the
tourists will start to come back. the sadness and the angry that they feel is not just about the money they have lost. it is about a wrenching anxiety that their new way of life may be lost. i refuse to let that happen. tomorrow, i will meet with the chairman of bp and inform him that he is to set aside whatever resources are required to compeesate the workers and business owners who have been harmed as a result of his company's recklessness. and this fund will not be cut -- not be controlled by bp. in order to ensure that all legitimate claims are paid out in a fair and timely manner, the account must and will be administered by an independent third party. beyond compensating the people of the gold in the short term, it is also clear we need a long- term plan to restore the unique beauty and bounty of this region. the oil spill represents just the latest blow to a place that
has already suffered multiple economic disasters and decades of environmental degradation that has led to disappearing wetlands and habitats. and the region still has not recovered from hurricanes katrina and rita. that is why we must make a commitment to the gulf coast that goes beyond responding to the crisis of the oment. i make that commitment tonight. earlier, i asked ray mavis, the secretary of the navy, who is also of former governor of mississippi and a son of the gulf coast, to develop all long- term gulf coast restoration plan as soon as possible. the plan will be designed by states, local communities, tribes, fishermen, businesses, conservationists, and other gulf residents. and the people pay for the impact this spill has had on the region. -- and bp will pay for the impact this bill is that on the region. the third part of our response
plan is the steps we're taking to ensure that a disaster like this does not happen again. i approved a proposal to consider new, limited offshore drilling under the assurance that it would be absolutely safe, that the proper technology would be in place and that the necessary precautions would be taken. that was obviously not the case on the deepwater horizon rig, and i want to know why. the american people want to know why. the families i met with last week who lost their loved ones in the explosion, these families deserve to know why. and so i have established a national commission to understand the causes of this disaster and offer recommendations on what additional safety and environmental standards we need po put into place.3 month moratorium on deepwater drilling for it i know this creates difficulty for the people work on these rigs, but for their safety and the entire
region, we need to know the facts before we allow deepwater drilling to continue. and while i urge the commission to complete its work as quickly as possible, i expect them to do that work thoroughly nd impartially. one place we've already begun to take action is at the agency in charge of regulating drilling and issuing permits, known as the minerals management service. over the last decade, this agency has become emblematic of a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility -- all philosophy that says corporations should be allowed to play by their own rules and police themselves. at this agency, industry insiders were put in charge of industry oversight. regulators with gifts and favors, and were essentially allowed to conduct their own safety inspections and write the regulations. when ken salazar became my secretary of the interior, one of his very first acts was to clean up the worst of the
corruption at this agency. but it is not clear that the problems there ran much deeper, and the pace of reform was much too slow. secretary salazar and i are briiging in new leadership at the agency, michael bromwich, who was a tough prosecutor and inspector general. his charge of the next few months is to build an organization that acts as the oil industry's watchdog, not its partner. one of the lessons we have learned from this bill is that we need better regulations, better safety standards, and better enforcement when it comes offshore drilling. but a larger lesson is that no matter how much we improve our regulation, drilling for oil these days entails greater risk. oil is a finite resource. we consume more than 20% of the world's oil, but have less than 2% of the world's oil reserves. and that is part of the reason oil companies are drilling a
mile beneath the surface of the ocean. we are running out of places too drill on land and in shallow water. for decades, we have known that the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered. for decades, we have talked and talked about the need to end america's century-long addiction to fossil fuels. and for decades, we have failed to act with a sense of urgency that this challenge requires. time and again, the path for have been blocked not only by oil induutry lobbyists, but also by a lack of political courage and candor. the consequences of our inaction are now in plain sight. countries like china are investing in clean energy jobs in industries that should be right here in america. each day, we send nearly $1 billion of our wealth to foreign countries for their oil. and today as we look to the gold, we see an entire way of life being threatenee by a menacing cloud of black crude.
we cannot consign our cheers from -- ur children to this future. the tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a cleaa energy future is now. now was the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash america's innovation and seize control of our own destiny. this is not some distant vision for america. the transition away from fossil fuels is going to take some time, but over the last year- and-a-half, we've already taken unprecedented action to jumpstart the clean in r&d -- the clean energy industry. old factories are reopening to produce wind turbines, people are going back to work installing energy-efficient windows, and small businesses are making solar panels. consumers are buying more efficient cars and trucks, and families are making their homes more energy-efficient.
scientists and researchers are discovering clean energy3 lead to entire new industries. each of us has a part to play in a new future that will benefit all of us. as we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of good jobs, but only if we accelerate that transition. only if we seize the moment. and only if we rally together and act as one nation -- workers and entrepreneurs, scientists and citizens, the public and private sectors. when i was a candidate for this office, i laid out a set of principles that would move our country towards energy independence. last year the house of representatives acted on these principles by passing a strong and comprehensive energy and climate bill, a bill that finally makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy for america's businesses. now there are costs associated with this transition. and there some that believe we
cannot afford those costs right now. i say we cannot afford not to change how we produce and use energy, because the long-term cost to our economy, our national security, and our environment are far greater. so i am happy to look at other ideas and approaches from either party -- as long as they seriously tackle our addiction to fossil fuels. some of suggested raising efficiency standards in our buildings -- some have suggested raising energy efficiency standards in our buildings like some believe we should set standards to ensure that more of our electricity comes from wind and solar power. others wonder why the energy industry only spends a fraction of what the high-tech industry does on research and pll of these approaches have merit and deserve a fair hearing in the months ahead.
but the one approach i will not accept is inaction. the one answer i will not settle for is the idea that this difficult to meet.ig and too the same thing was said about our ability to produce enough planes and tanks in world war ii. the same thing was said about our ability to harness the science and technology to land a man safely on the surface of the mmon. time and again we have refused to settle for the paltry limits of conventional wisdom. what is defined us as a nation since our founding is our capacity shape our destiny. even if we are unsure exactly what that looks like, even if we do not yet know precisely how to get there, we know we will get+ there. it is a faith in the future that sustains us as a people. it is that same faith that sustains our neighbors in the gulf right now. each year at the beginning of shrimping season, the region's fishermen take part in a tradition that was brought to america long ago by fishing
immigrants from europe. it is called "the blessing of the fleet," and today it is a celebration where clergy from different rrligions gather to say a prayer for the safety and success of the men and women who will soon head out two weeks, some for weeks at a time. the ceremony goes on in good times and in bad. it took place after katrina and it took place a few weeks ago at the beginning of the most difficult season these fishermen have ever faced. and so they came and they prayed. fisherman once said of the tradition, "the blessing is not that god has promised to remove all obstacles and dangers. a blessing is that he is with us always, a blessing that is granted even in the midst of the storm." the oil spill is not the last crisis america will face. this nation has known hard times before and we will surely know them again.
what sees us through -- what has always seen us through -- is our strength, our resilieece, and our unyielding faith that something better awaits if we summon the courage to reach for it. tonight we pray for that courage. we pray for the people of the gulf. and we pray that a hand may guide us through the storm towards a brighter day. thank you, god bless you, and may god bless the united states of america. >> executives from five oil companies including bp were on capitol hill today to defend their drilling practices. congressman ed markey called them -- called their oil spill response plans are identical and the affected. here is an hour 20 minutes portion of the opening statements.
>> 57 days ago in the dead of night, the worst environmental nightmare in u.s. history began. on a screen here and in homes across the country, we now see the live video of tens of thousands of barrels of oil billowing into the gulf of mexico every day. for years the oil industry swore this would never happen. we were told that technology had advanced, that offshore drilling was safe. bp said they did not think the rig would sink. it did. they said they could handle an exxon valdez-size spill every day. they couud not. bp said the spill was 1,000 barrels per day. it was not. and they knew it. now the other companies here today will contend that this was
an isolated incident. they will say a similar disaster could never happen to them. and yet it s this kind of blind faith -- which is ironically the name of an actual rig in the gulf -- that has led to this kind of disaster. in preparation for this hearing,,this committee reviewed the oil spill safety response plans for all of thh companies here today. we found was that these five companies have response lans that are virtually identical. the plans cite identical identical ineffective equipment. in some cases, they use the -- they use the exact same words. we found that all of these companies, not just bp, made the exact same assurances. that covers of the five response
plans are identical -- are different colors, but the content is 90% identical. like bp, three other companies include references to protecting walruses, which have not called the gglf of mexico home for 3 million years. two plans are such dead ringers for bp's that they list a phone number for the saae long-dead expert. the american people deserve oil safety plans that are ironclad, and not boilerplate. we now know the oil industry and the government agency tasked with regulating them determined that thhre was a 0% chance that this kind of undersea disaster could ever happen. when you believe that there is a 0% chance of a disaster happening, and you do zero% disaster planning.
and the oil industry has invested nearly zero time and money into devvloping safety and response effort. the oil companies before us today amassed nearly $289 billion in profits over the last three years. they spent $39 billion to explore for new oil and gas. yet the average investment in research and development for safety, accident prevention, and spill response was a paltry $20 million per year. less than 0.1% of their profits. the oil company may think it's fine to produce carbon copies of their safety plans, but the americannpeople expect and deserve more. it is time to expect more from the oil industry. and that needs to start today.
first, congress must ensure that there is unlimited liability for oil spills by oil companies. while we try to cap this well, we must lift the cap on oil industry liability. seeond, congresssmust also enact wide-ranging safety reforms for offshore drilling. if oil companies are going to pursue ultra-deep drilling, we must ensure if it is altered- eighth -- ultra-safe and companies can respond ultra- quick. third, the free ride is over. oil companies need to pay their fair share to drill on public land. right now every single one of the companies here today and dozenn are others are drilling
for free in the gulf of mexico on leases that will cost american taxpayers more than $50 billion in lost royalties. fourth, we must ensure that new technologies are developed for capping wells, boosting safety, and cleaning up spills. i will soon introduce the oil sos act to ensure we have 21st century technologies in place for 21st century drilling risks. and finally, america must move to a safer clean energy future so that we do not have to rely as much on oil to power our cars and our economy. the american people deserve answers from the oil industry of our witnesses. i like to recognize my distinguished colleague from michigan, the ranking member of the subcommittee, mr..upton. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thank you for calling this very important hearing. what happened on the deepwater horizon rig was truly an
american tragedy. also like was heartbreaking and the environmental and economic damage that worsens by the date is that wwenching. as i've said many times before, it needs to be crystal clear to all of yoo that the polluter will pay. the american taxpayer should not and will not be on the hook for the cost of this accident. but economic and environmental. nor should consumers be punished with tax increases passed in the name of the bp sppll that would only serve to add cost to hard-working americans and further weaken our economy. we now have the opportunity to look bp america in the eye and demand that they fulfill their responsibility for the disaster in the gulf, and the important step is the creation of an esccow account that will insure american taxpayers on not left holding the bag. in the wake of this tragedy, we must work